Isola Bella is one of the Borromean Islands, about 400 metres off Stresa, and can be reached in a few minutes from Verbania, Baveno, Stresa and Arona.
The island is a natural treasure made even richer by human intervention; it has always been one of the favourite visitor attractions of Lake Maggiore, not to be missed if you want unparalleled views of the lake and its surroundings. Isola Bella is dominated by its sumptuous Baroque palace, along with a luxuriant Italian-style garden, which reaches a height of 37 metres and is laid out on ten terraces. Many parts of the palace are open to visitors: richly furnished rooms and opulent salons embellished with priceless artworks.
The garden is full of flowers and exotic plants of great rarity, which grow thanks to the particularly mild climate of the Borromean Gulf. Everything on the island has been designed to create a scenic effect, including the “Theatre” constructed at the end of the superimposed terraces, dominated by a statue of a Unicorn, the heraldic emblem of the Borromeos, which is flanked by statues representing Nature and Art. The huge, extraordinary garden is further decorated with ponds, fountains and a plethora of statues dating from the second half of the 17th century. The white peacocks that wander over the manicured lawns add their grace to this enchanting spot.
Adjacent to the palace and the gardens is part of the village which used to occupy the island, with some restaurants and souvenir shops.
How to Get There:
The island can be reached by service boat or motor launch from Stresa, Verbania, Baveno and Arona.